So you have met someone great! This is when things get interesting. Whether you’re hooking up, enjoying a friend with benefits relationship, or dating, most of you are having sex at least occasionally. But that doesn’t mean you’re having good sex. Too often people are settling for less, simply because they’re not comfortable talking with their partner about what they want.
In 2011, Canadian researcher, E. Sandra Buyers, conducted a review of 30 years of sex research on sexual communication. She concluded that because people are so restricted in their sexual communication, they don’t know very much about about what turns their partner on and even less about what turns them off.
For most, sharing sexually is awkward. It’s understandable. We’re socialized to keep our sexual preferences and activities private, and lots of people may feel shame about our bodies and sexuality. Talking about sex can feel embarrassing or uncomfortable, so it makes sense that a lot of us would rather deal with mediocre sex than an awkward conversation — especially with someone we don’t know that well.
Talking about your interests, desires and limits with your partner is a surefire way to have better sex — and good sex can deepen your relationship, improve your mood, relieve stress, and even burn calories.
Here are 3 easy tips anyone can use to get the conversation going:
1. Let your partner know what you like, what you want, and what you’d like to try.
Get into the habit of telling your partner what you enjoy, either while it’s happening or when the two of you are basking in the afterglow. If you’re feeling shy, start by saying something like “do that again,” “I like it when you…,” or even a simple “yes.” Sharing what you like and what your partner does well can be sexy, and (gently!) communicating things that aren’t doing it for you helps you enjoy your sexual experiences together.
2. You can talk about sex any time, any place.
You don’t have to be naked to talk about what you
like. Many people find it easier to talk about their sexual interests and boundaries in a non-sexual context. You might raise the topic over dinner or drinks,hanging out, watching a movie , or in a public setting. You’re not limited to discussing intimacy while it’s happening. And the excitement of talking about your fantasies when you can’t act on them immediately may carry over to your bedroom later.
3. We live in the age of connection.
Too shy to talk face-to-face? Send an email detailing your fantasy, or share your likes and dislikes via text. Talking in person allows for more nuance, but using your phone or computer might make you feel comfortable enough to share thoughts you might feel weird saying out loud. Break out the emoji if you need to!
Nobody can read minds, so it’s important to tell your partner what you want and need from them. You’re also making room for them to share their needs and desires with you. Once you start talking, you’re on your way to better sex and a better relationship. Starting the conversation is the hard part. Use these steps to get started, and you’ll be on your way to the best sex of your life.
Written by Danielle Norwood, MA in MFT, Relationup Advisor